Deepak Bhargava to Leave Center for Community Change
Will Remain with Organization through 2018 Election
Washington, DC – Today, the Center for Community Change announced that after 16 years in leadership and 24 with the organization, Deepak Bhargava will be departing Community Change and its sister organization the Center for Community Change Action. He will remain President of Community Change and Vice President of the Center for Community Change Action through the 2018 election.
Under Bhargava’s leadership, Community Change became a major force in the social justice landscape. In every arena where struggling Americans — particularly those of color — are fighting for respect, inclusion, or a chance to make ends meet, Bhargava pushed Community Change to make a difference. Under his leadership, Community Change has also had a major impact on the field of community organizing in the U.S., challenging important assumptions about how change is made, increasing the field’s focus on strategies such as electoral politics, communications, national campaigns, and coalition building. Community Change plays a crucial role today in connecting grassroots groups to each other and to other progressive forces, in bridging divides between “inside” and “outside” strategies, between policy and organizing, and between local and national work and groups.
Statement from Deepak Bhargava:
“I have never been more proud of the work of Community Change and CCCA and our extended family of allies and grassroots partners. Community Change and CCCA have risen to meet the historic challenges we face to our deepest values and to our democracy itself. Today, the organizations are doing indispensable work to defend the social safety net, nurture the immigrant rights movement, win proactive policies that redefine what’s possible on jobs, housing and child care, and to build sustained, on the ground organizing capacity and leadership in communities of color. On many of the key short and long term issues facing our country, Community Change and CCCA are playing important and even crucial leadership roles. The organization has a remarkable board, staff and program and is well positioned to handle the transition. With the extraordinary Dorian Warren as President of CCCA and Vice President of CCC, and a gifted and diverse leadership team and staff, the organizations won’t miss a beat. I have total confidence that Community Change will thrive as a linchpin organization that fuses the power of organizing, ideas, and politics to fuel bold and enduring movements that win big for low-income people of color in this country.”
Statement from Quinn Delaney, Community Change Board Chair:
“The bold leadership of Deepak Bhargava over the last 16 years has been remarkable. We are deeply grateful to him for his contributions to the organization and the larger movement for justice in the U.S. Programmatically, we are stronger than ever, working with more movements, coaching more leaders and supporting more campaigns than we ever have. Organizationally, Community Change is more powerful, effective and sustainable in every measurable way. Working with staff and boards, under his leadership we created Community Change Action, purchased a new building and retired the debt, established organizational reserves, strengthened key systems, and attracted a fantastic and diverse staff. The organization, founded as a living memorial to Robert F. Kennedy in 1968, marks its 50th anniversary this year. This is a time for reflection, recommitment, and renewal. Our Champions event on September 27th will be an opportunity to say heartfelt thanks to Deepak, to honor visionary leaders, and to celebrate our accomplishments. Even more important, though, it will be an opportunity to focus on the future. We enter this new period with a bold plan for the future, Path to Power — unanimously approved by our boards in October, after deep engagement of staff, allies, and partners — that builds on our legacy and will position Community Change and CCCA as even more vibrant forces for justice in the challenging years ahead.”
Statement from Susan Sandler, Chair of the CCCA Board of Directors:
“At this crucial time in the country’s history, the Center for Community Change Action will run its largest ever electoral program in 2018 – a doubling of our historic 2016 program. It was not always this way. When Deepak took over at CCC, electoral organizing was a marginal strategy in community organizing. He unapologetically pushed organizers across the country to take seriously holding power accountable everywhere it is found – especially at the ballot box. This is an example of the practical, results-oriented thought leadership that has come to define Community Change and CCCA. I am confident that CCCA’s trajectory of growing power is built on the solid foundations of a committed board, brilliant and dedicated staff, a never-more-timely mission and powerful grass roots partners across America. The boards of Community Change and CCCA take our responsibility at this important time for an indispensable organization very seriously. We are planning an orderly and thoughtful transition, and we will be announcing next steps after our June 21-24 Board of Directors meetings.”
Statement from Dorian Warren, President of Community Change Action:
“Among many, one of Deepak’s greatest contributions to our movements over the past two decades has been his conscious investment in the development and growth of social justice leaders. The immigrant rights movement today, for example, bears the unmistakable mark of his investment in emerging leaders, and particularly his commitment to rigorous and disciplined strategy. I and many other current and former staff at Community Change have also been beneficiaries of his support and coaching. I am glad to be able to say that this organization’s staff and board leadership are fully committed to our work, partners and communities. The distinctive capacity of this organization to bridge the worlds of ideas, politics and organizing, and to work in the short and long term dimensions of change, is more needed than ever. We’re excited about the future, and look forward to a continued practice of partnership with other leaders and organizations that share our commitments.”